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Common Misconceptions About Physical Therapy

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Physical Therapy: An Excellent Option for Treatment

Physical therapists (PTs) are one of the unsung heroes of the medical community. These movement experts can help improve a person’s quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and education. There are no adverse side effects to physical therapy, and the ultimate goal is for patients to be able to manage their recovery from home. This makes physical therapy a great option for long-term, lasting treatment.

However, there are a few misconceptions that can hold people back from seeking out a PT. To help remove some of these potential barriers, here is the truth about four physical therapy myths.

Myth #1: Physical therapy is only helpful after an injury or surgery.

Many patients who work with a PT are recovering from an injury or surgery. However, physical therapy can also be used to address other issues as well. This includes:

PTs can diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to those at the end of life. Many patients who work with a PT have injuries, disabilities or other health conditions that need treatment. However, PTs also care for those who just want to learn how to be healthier and prevent future problems.

Myth #2: Only athletes need physical therapy.

Physical therapy isn’t only for the athletically inclined. Because it has such a broad range of applications, almost anyone can benefit from seeing a PT. That includes everyone from a marathon runner fine-tuning her performance to an elderly man working through a fall prevention program.

Myth #3: Physical therapy hurts.
In physical therapy, a patient will never be made to do anything they don’t want to do. That means those who are already in pain need not worry about enduring uncomfortable treatment. PTs are able to meet each person where they’re at and modify methods as needed.

During a typical appointment, a patient will receive hands-on care or manual therapy, learn exercises and receive education about what to do at home. Patient success largely depends on their level of commitment to these at-home activities. This will require some effort and dedication on the patient’s part, but the outcome is always worth it.


Myth #4: Physical therapy is just exercise.

While exercise is typically part of physical therapy, it isn’t all there is to it. A PT’s methods of treatment are just as diverse as the people and issues they care for. These different types of treatments include:

  • Stretching
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening
  • Manual treatment
  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Dry needling
  • Cupping
  • Electrical stimulation

Constantly learning new techniques, the PTs at St. Luke’s regularly offer new and different options for treatment. Their goal is to find a method that works best for each individual person.

Physical Therapy Services in Duluth, Minnesota

Working with a PT can have a profound effect on a life. They can help you achieve your fitness goals, regain or maintain your independence and lead the lifestyle you want. On average, a patient will have a 45-minute physical therapy appointment a few times a week for a month or two, learning more about their body and how to maximize their physical ability. After that, the patient will be able to continue their treatment long-term from home.

If you think you’d benefit from physical therapy, talk to your primary care provider. To learn more about St. Luke’s Physical Therapy offerings, visit our website.
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